By Zalson Khor Dhal
Over the last few years, I have been reluctantly entertaining this idea that there is something ‘Wanibeleadque’ about us the underlings of South Sudan: meaning, admitting openly you are a fool, and vowing never again, but in each turn, are fooled again and again and again. It strikes me a little, at times an inaudible chuckle follows, to watch the very image of my own mirrored mindlessly in the same mockery.
Folks, wake up!
The ones you follow make no apologies, and why should they?
Time and again, we have been misled, misinformed, and even misguided that all our afflictions are largely a sinister doings of the tribe miles away, that the authorities are toiling-corruption honeycorded if you dare to know, for our own good, etc, end of thinking capacity.
In essence, they are on fishing expedition to stir up anything they can find, distort it to conform with their own narrative and use it as a pretext for their dealings. (status quo) as Mabior Garang would affirm. My job, and yours as they deem fit, is to faithfully swallow the pill ‘awhole’.
You can’t say wait a minute, they don’t have a minute to waste. Quick!
In no chronologically particular order, let us drill deep down into few details of those sketches.
Here is the rundown:
Welcome to Tribal warfare hoax.
When faced by cameras, leaders of various groupings declare in strong terms, in tone and in tenor, how this war was not only avoidable, but baseless as well.
Cautious! Huddles ahead; beyond the reach of those curious cameras, however, are cutting throat propaganda of tsunamic proportions, vectored with precision towards fueling and furnacing inter-tribal war.
Sadly as a result, a few poor souls went a step outside reasonably accepted madness, to destroy their own families because a wife happened to be on the other polar side. Old men and women, innocent children dragged out of cars and butchered for crimes they have no knowledge of, villages burnt down and many lives lost in the process.
A bond of many years among harmonious tribes met the fullest weight of the dark force, thereby erasing any doubt about the present of an endemic hatred, uprooting every fabric of our being as one people.
There you have it, but I hate to say this; chief strategists, their loyal enablers of this barbarism, are the best thing the devil ever had, and would have instructed his ghost to invent one had they not existed.
Time is fast approaching for South Sudanese to regain trust in their collective co-existence.
One dare ask innocently though.
How on earth is an Anyuak in the far east an existential threat to a Dinka in the far west? Why is a Madi, right at the tip of the South is such a nemesis to a Nuer herding cattle in the nose of the North?
Anyway, these and many many others are rhetorical questions for which you know answers to. None whatsoever. Politics says there is.
If this is not brute politics, anyone can volunteer in aiding the public by explaining what it is.
On corruption, the apparent untold suffering and the belief that someone, rather than us the led is going to fix it.
Far from the truth. Its deceitful. South Sudanese have not been adequately served, despite patience and warm atmosphere accorded authorities, bear in mind too, this is at the backdrop of a booming economy.
In a manner unabashedly telling, hearsay had it that leaders, if they so qualified, are serving people.
Nay, the pieces of evidence coming in dribs and drabs point precisely the opposite direction.
Most of them have engaged in corruption only equals to zero, so much so that if current world corrupt leaders are put on a scale, they cannot equal one South Sudanese corrupt official, and that’s being so nice. As you know, these are the ones if arrested by the government, we are always determined to break free them from prison and threaten more actions in the course of delays.
Conning us seems the new normal.
Fact of the matter is. No one is toiling for anybody. Not even close. All that is agonizingly clear is they have done a bit of a math with our resources, lined their pockets and off touring enitre world making fun. Meanwhile, we will be told to watch our backs from tribe X. . .a bought fantasy to camouflage a fox in the much larger conspiracy to keep us divided and further-on business as usual.
It just doesn’t end there for us faithfuls, like Uncle Whiny who will never stop cursing himself, we are fooled one more time.
Unite, for there are strictly two tribes in South Sudan I see everyday throughout the country; the tribe of the few-rich-haves and the tribe of majority-poor-haves not, anything else is yet again a dose of politics to obscure your judgement.
You are not different from the the people you are sent to destroy. Same as you, they braved scorching Sun everyday in the farms of Equatoria, on the grazing plains of Bahr Gazal and Upper Nile, just to get by. Your brothers truly.
On the otherside, just crane your neck for curiosity, these bosses and their henchmen are all walls, high walls with barbed wires and cctv cameras that never sleep. Had no idea about what folks are going through each day in the world far away from their walls and all these endeavours is to keep you away ofcourse. You don’t matter any more. Elections-the only gluing factor, if any, might never come soon. Citizens are kept out in the woods, cold and neglected. Why?
Fear of reprisal.
Unite, for I see a hole in their hearts, and the hole represents fear. A genuine fear that people will one day overcome their petty differences and demand answers of unfulfilled liberation promises. May probably notice they are being cheated, and want to know why they were made to hate and maim each other.
Unite, for time is now to take a deep breath, a good look at your neighbor and have courage to forgive, forget and get up carry the banner of all South Sudan perfect union again, because history is on the side of those willing to do away with any form of bigotry. I am aware of a highly explosive polarisation of politics in our country today, and how it’s almost insane to talk about concrete oneness, but all difficulties considered, such endeavour to engage meaningfully can start with a jolt and if given a push, may gain traction before we see unity full throttle.
When that happened, the heroic South Sudanese, recalling the much we have achieved and will achieve together,
having also recognised the failures to hold our country together, can happily justify our hast for unity of all, regardless of their diverse cultures.
now that we have our arms all around the ugly facts of our past and current, let us then seize this moment of peace to coalesce around common good. We have mortgaged, for exactly nothing in return, the future to those who have reached their God’s given limits.
Therefore, unite in market places, and in places of work and worship, at schools and at your neighborhoods, in diaspora and at home, for we have been divided against our consciousness for selfish interests and for too long. Love one another.
No, I don’t claim prescience, its silly to. Here is what I see and promise. If the reality of every South Sudanese begins to come to view and the realization for it takes roots in public discourse, rigid contours of falsehoods will start to surface considerably, and with no legs to support its stand, the scandalous tribal- warfare hoax built on fabrications will eventually come down crumbling.
It is then and only then shall peoples united under Heaven, for whose names were foretold thousands and thousands years ago in biblical text, rise up from their ashes as a vibrant nation teeming with lives.
How time flies, days are gone when names like Dhal, Lado, Okello, Gatluak meant nothing more than their true meanings, when a man you share a bunker with come from places as far as Mading-Bor from Mading-Awiel, when comrades bled and fell together in the battlefields, when little girls sent oppressors packing during the referendum.
We must not succumb to the impulses of the current haze sweeping across the country.
Else, we be prepared to tell our children bornt yesterday in the midst of a simmering hate and sensitivity the reasons why we are giving them Yoguslavia.
God bless you and may God bless South Sudan.